Hans van Baalen, President

Hans Van Baalen

Hans van Baalen was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on June 17th 1960. He studied International Law and International Relations at Leyden University. He served in the Royal Netherlands Army as an Officer for International Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC). At present he holds the rank of Reserve Colonel. In 1988 he joined Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu as a Management Consultant. He left Deloitte in 1998 as Chief Executive Officer of Public Affairs Consultants, to start a career in politics. He is currently a Member of the European Parliament, representing VVD, the Dutch Party For Freedom and Democracy (LI full member).

Mr. Van Baalen joined VVD in 1986. In 1988 he became a Member and subsequently Chairman of the Dutch Group of Liberal International. From 1993 until 1998 he was International Secretary on the National Executive Committee of VVD and was VVD National Campaign Manager for the 1998 and the 2003 general elections. In May 1998 he was presented with the VVD Thorbecke Award.

In September of 1999 Hans van Baalen succeeded Frits Bolkestein as a Member of the House of Representatives of the States General, the Lower House of Dutch Parliament. After the May 2002 general elections in which he lost his parliamentary seat, Reserve Officer Hans van Baalen went on a tour of duty to Bosnia for humanitarian relief work. In the January 2003 general elections, he recaptured his seat in Dutch Parliament. Hans van Baalen was Parliamentary Spokesman for VVD on Foreign & European Affairs and Defence. He was subsequently Chairman of the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Defence and of the Netherlands-Belgian Parliamentary Exchange Commission. He was a Member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In 2009 he led VVD in the European elections and was installed as an MEP in Strasbourg on July 14th 2009. Hans van Baalen is a Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and a Substitute Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He is Chairman of the EP delegation to Japan.

Hans van Baalen became a Fellow of the 21st Century Trust in 1988. He has been a Member of the ELDR Party Council since 1993, a Vice-President of Liberal International since 1997 and a Member of the LI Human Rights Committee since 1999. From 1999 until 2000 he was Special Rapporteur of LI on the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Hans van Baalen chaired the ELDR Manifesto Committee for the European elections in 2004 and was a Alternate Member of the EU Convention on the Future of Europe. In 2005 he was elected President of the Supervisory Committee of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (IMD).

Hans van Baalen became a Bureau Member of LI at the 50th Congress in Ottawa, October 2000, was re-elected at the 51st Congress in Budapest, March 2002, and again at the 52th Congress in Dakar, October 2003. He was elected Deputy President of Liberal International at the 53rd LI Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2005, re-elected at the 54th LI Congress in Marrakech, Morocco, October 2006, and again re-elected at the 55th LI Congress in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May 2008. At the 56th LI Congress in Cairo, Egypt he was elected President of Liberal International. He was re-elected unanimously at the 57th LI Congress in Manila, the Philippines in 2011, where he also received the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Medal for his long term dedication to liberalism. At the 58th LI Congress in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in October 2012, Hans van Baalen was re-elected for a third consecutive term as President of Liberal International.

Hans van Baalen is married to Ineke Sybesma, Director of the Netherlands Victim Support Fund. They were married in Istanbul. They have a son called Robert who was born on May 14th 2006.


Juli Minoves Triquell, Deputy President

Juli minoves

Born on 15 August, 1969 in Andorra la Vella, Andorra.

Academic background

  • 2011: PhD, Yale University
  • 1994: Master of Philosophy in Political Science (Comparative Politics, Political Philosophy and Political Economy) 
  • 1993: Master of Arts in Political Science, Yale University
  • 1991: Licence Cum Laude in Economic and Social Sciences - Fribourg University, Switzerland, Licence thesis awarded with Summa Cum Laude
  • 1986: Spanish State Diploma of Music and Piano, Music School of the Lyceum of Barcelona, Spain
  • Baccalaureate Scientifique with awards 'Lycee Comte de Foix', Andorra


Catalan, French, Spanish, English, Italian and a good knowledge of German and Portuguese

Background in diplomacy

  • 2001: Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • 2000: Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 1999: Ambassador to Finland and Switzerland
  • 1998: Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain
  • 1998: Head of the Andorran delegation for the establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC), Rome, 1998
  • 1998: Member of the special group of diplomats of the United Nations regarding the inspections in Iraq
  • 1998-97: Chief of Cabinet ad interim of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • 1997: Head of the Andorran delegation to the UN Special Assembly Rio+5
  • 1997-96: Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly
  • 1996: Ambassador to the Canada and to the United States
  • 1995: Ambassador, Permanent representative to the United Nations
  • October 1998, September 96, June 94: Chairman of the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG) at the United Nations
  • March 1995: Representative of the principality of Andorra to the World Social Summit as Alternate Head of Delegation
  • November 1994: Vice-Chairman of the 1994 United Nations Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme
  • 1994: Minister plenipotentiary, Deputy Permanent Representative to the Permanent Mission of Andorra to the UN, Charge d'Affaires.
  • 1994-93: Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Andorra to the UN
    Medals and commendations
  • 1997: Great Cross of the Order of Merit of Portugal

Other professional and personal experiences

  • 2000: Conference to the Association of Andorran Lawyers
  • 1996: Conference on the role and place of Andorra in and within the United Nations, Catalan University in Prades, France
  • 1993: Assistant professor of constitutional law and political economy at the department of Political Science at Yale University
  • 1991-89: Teacher of Catalan language at the Migrosklubschule in Bern, Switzerland
  • 1991: Conference on the future of Andorra in the international arena, Catalan University in Prades, France
  • 1991: Special correspondent of Radio Andorra in the meetings between James Baker Tarek Asis on the Persian Gulf War
  • 1990: Elaboration of a research paper on European corporate law at the Coordination office for the EEC of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Brussels
  • 1989: Elaboration of a research paper on the financing of the Andorran public sector at the Ministry of Finances.
  • Deputy President of Andorran Liberal Party

Abir Al-Sahlani, Vice-President

Abir Al-Sahlani

Abir Al-Sahlani was born on May 18, 1976 in Baghdad, Iraq. She currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms Al-Sahlani is member of the Parliament of Sweden since 2010, representing the Centre Party (Centerpartiet, LI full member).

She has a Masters degree in computer system science from Stockholm University.  Her studies include Arabic language and history, political science and psychology at both Stockholm University and Södertörn University College in Stockholm. After graduation Abir Al-Sahlani volunteered as a language teacher at Nacka School in Stockholm in 2002-2003, assisting migrants' children in their studies. In 2003 she returned for four years to Iraq, where she worked as Liaison officer for the Governing Council of Baghdad in 2003-2004, coordinating relations between the council and Iraqi ministries. During her years in Bagdad she arranged seminars on women's rights and successfully promoted the founding of a centre for democracy and a youth parliament. In 2004 Ms. Al-Sahlani was appointed Secretary General of the National Democratic Alliance (DNA), an Iraqi liberal party, a position she held until 2007 when she was recruited as Political Adviser on foreign affairs and migration for the Centre Party in Sweden. She entered the Swedish parliament in 2010 and is a member of the Foreign affairs committee and the Labour market committee.

Ms. Al-Sahlani was elected a Vice-President for the LI Bureau at the 57th Congress in Manila, Philippines.


Dzhevdet Chakarov, Vice-President

Dzhevdet Chakarov was born on August 8, 1960 in Asenovgrad, Bulgaria. He is a member of Parliament, representing the Movement for Rights and Freedoms party (MRF) of Bulgaria.

Dzhevdet Chakarov studied surgery at the Medical University of Plovdid. After graduation he worked as a surgeon at the local hospital in the town of Luky 1986-1988 and later as the Senior Assistant Professor in a Common Surgery at the Medical University of Plovdid 1988-2001. He has published several scientific researches and publications concerning different aspects of the surgery, microbiology and social medicine. He speaks Turkish, English and Russian. In 2001 Dr. Chakarov was elected Member of the Bulgarian Parliament. His parliamentary activities include: Chairman of the Environment and Water Committee; member of Health Care Committee; as well as member of Delegation to the Assembly of the West-European Union and the US Congress. He has also served as Minister of Environment from 2005-2009. Presently, Dr. Chakarov is Vice-chairperson of the Committee of Environment and Waters in Bulgarian Parliament and he is also member of the Committee overseening Eurofunds management.

Dr. Chakarov was elected Vice-President of the LI Bureau during the 53rd Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2005 and has been re-elected on the four consecutive LI Congresses since, including the 57th Congress in Manila, Philippines 2011.

Art Eggleton, Vice President

Art Eggleton

Art Eggleton was born on September 29, 1943. He is a member of the Senate of Canada, representing the Liberal Party of Canada. He has served the people of Canada and the city of Toronto in public office for over 37 years. He was born, raised, and educated in Toronto where he worked as an accountant before being elected to City Council in 1969. He served 22 years as a member of Toronto City Council and the Metropolitan Toronto Council, most of those years on the Executive Committees of both Councils. Between 1973 and 1980, he served as City Budget Chief, the member of Council responsible for financial matters. From 1980 to 1991, he was Mayor of Toronto, the longest serving Mayor in the City's history. In recognition of his service to the City, Mr. Eggleton received Toronto's highest honour, the Civic Award of Merit, in 1992.
Art Eggleton served 11 years in the House of Commons as the member for York Centre. First elected in 1993, he was soon thereafter appointed to Cabinet where he served as President of the Treasury Board & Minister Responsible for Infrastructure (1993-1996), Minister for International Trade (1996-1997), Minister of National Defence (1997-2002) and Vice-Chairman of Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy (1997-2002). In his final 2 years in the House (2002-2004), he served as both Chair of the Greater Toronto Area Liberal Caucus and Member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as Chair of Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary Group. On March 24, 2005, Art Eggleton was appointed to the Senate of Canada. He currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology and is a member of the Standing Committee on National Finance.

Mr. Eggleton served as liaison between the Liberal Party of Canada and Liberal International at the 182nd Executive Committee meeting in Vancouver in 2009. He was co-opted as Vice-President of the Bureau during the 185th EC in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010 and elected Treasurer during the 57th Congress in Manila, the Philippines in 2011. At the 58th Congress in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, in October 2012, he was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International.


Tim Harris, Vice President

Tim Harris

Tim Harris was born in Cape Town, South Africa but grew up in Durban where he attended Hilton College.  He completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in English Literature and Economics, at the University of Cape Town and then an Honours degree in Economics.  After a period working at an investment bank in Johannesburg he returned to Cape Town to complete his Masters in Economics. 

His political career began when he was recruited as the Economics Researcher at the Democratic Alliance (DA) - South Africa's official opposition.  In 2005 he was appointed as Chief of Staff for Tony Leon, the longest-serving Leader of the Opposition in democratic South Africa.  In the 2009 national elections, he managed the campaign events team for Helen Zille, the new leader of the DA, before being elected to Parliament as a member of the Western Cape delegation in the National Council of Provinces. 

He currently serves on the Standing Committee on Finance in the National Assembly, is the Parliamentary Counsellor to Leader of the Opposition, Lindiwe Mazibuko, and the party's International Liaison.  He is the constituency MP for City Bowl and the Atlantic Seaboard. 

Tim lives in Green Point with his wife and daughter. He is a surfer who loves to travel in Africa. In 2007 he undertook the first trans-continental surfing expedition from Cape Town London by the west coast route.

At the 58th Congress in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, in October 2012, Tim Harris was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International.

Markus Löning, Vice President

Markus Loening

Born on 2 July 1960 in Meppen, Ems

Three children

Political career
2005 - 2009
Member of the German Bundestag
European policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group
Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with Belgium and Luxembourg

2002 - 2005
Member of the German Bundestag
Development policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group

Since 2001
Member of the FDP National Executive
since 2005 Vice-President of the European Liberal Democrats (ELDR)

2004 - 2010
President of the FDP Berlin

2005 - 2009
Chairman of the FDP Federal Committee on International Politics

2005 - 2007
President of the German Group of Liberal International (DGLI)

from April 2010
Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office

1996 - 2006
Owner manager, Löning Werbeagentur, Berlin (advertising agency)

1993 - 1996
Freelance staff, Thienel, Meyer, Partner Werbeagentur, Berlin (advertising agency)

1990 - 1993
Manager, Strich & Punkt — Satz & Grafik, Berlin

1987 - 1990
Owner manager, Le Print Werbeagentur, Mannheim (advertising agency)

Read political science at the University of Heidelberg, Master of Arts
European Baccalaureate at the European School Luxembourg

Elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International at the 58th Congress in Abidjan, in October 2012.

Robert Woodthorpe Browne, Treasurer

Robert Woodthorpe Browne

Robert Woodthorpe Browne was born in Little Gaddesden, England in 1943. He has a notable background in the Liberal Democrats (LibDems) and currently serves as Chairman of the party's International Relations Committee.

He has studied at Poitiers and Barcelona Universities and holds a BA (Hons) from London University. He speaks English, French, Spanish and German. He is the Past Secretary of British German Association and Treasurer of British Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, as well as Council Member of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House). He has been politically active since 1960, when he joined Liberal Party UK and chaired various Young Liberal Branches. He has stood as MP for Westminster in 1979, 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005 (against Tony Blair in Sedgefield); for Strasbourg 1979 and 1999 (East of England Region). He is the former Chairman, now Vice-President of the Parliamentary Candidates Association and the Former Deputy Treasurer of the Liberal Democrats. His engagement in field of international liberal cooperation has been extensive and he is the Former Chairman, now Deputy Chairman and Vice-President of the British Group of Liberal International as well as Council Member of ELDR.

Mr. Woodthorpe Browne was elected Vice-President in the LI Bureau during the 56th Congress in Cairo in 2009, Egypt and Treasurer of the Bureau during the 57th Congress in Manila, the Philippines in 2011. He was re-elected Treasurer at the 58th Congress in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire in October 2012.

Chris Lord Rennard

Chris Rennard

Chris Rennard was born in Liverpool in 1960 and was an active member of the Liberal Party in his teens and at University in his home city where he chaired the University Liberals and Social Democrats. He was Deputy Chair of the Liverpool Liberal Party and organised many of the party's successful election campaigns.

He was was the most successful Liberal agent in the country when he worked for the Liverpool Mossley Hill constituency of David Alton (now Lord Alton of Liverpool) and helped to achieve a winning 14% swing against the Conservatives in 1983.

In 1984 he became one of the party's national Area Agents based in Leicester when the party won is first seats there for over 20 years.  He was a key member of many of the Liberal/Alliance by-election campaign teams including West Derbyshire (1986) and Greenwich (1987). He was a member of the standing committee of ALC and wrote many of the party's publications on election campaigning and party organisation.

In 1989, he was made an MBE, married Ann McTegart, and was appointed as Director of Campaigns and Elections for the Liberal Democrats. He helped to oversee parliamentary Liberal Democrat by-election successes including Eastbourne (1990), Kincardine & Deeside (1991), Newbury (1993), Christchurch (1993), Eastleigh (1994), Littleborough & Saddleworth (1995), Winchester (1997) and Romsey (2000).

In the General election of 1997 he oversaw the party's target seat campaign which resulted in the Liberal Democrats more than doubling its number of MPs from 18 to 46. With Tim Razzall as Campaign Chair, and Charles Kennedy as Leader, he also directed the Liberal Democrats' General Election campaigns in 2001 and 2005 which further increased the number of Lib Dem MPs to 52 and 62.

He served as the Liberal Democrats Chief Executive from 2003 to 2009 during which time he was in overall charge of the party’s election campaigns and organisation. His campaigns team continued to build the party's successes through by-elections such as Brent East (2003) Leicester South (2004) and Dunfermline & West Fife (2006) taking the Liberal Democrats to 63 MPs.  He chaired the Liberal Democrat General Election campaign between Summer 2006 and Summer 2009 when he stood down as Chief Executive of the Party.

At the 58th Congress in Abidjan, in 2012 he was elected Vice President on the Bureau of Liberal International.